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The increase steepened at the turn of the 21st century in line with the rise in online dating, and then even further as swipe-to-match apps like Tinder went mainstream around 2014 (it launched in late 2012).While there are almost certainly a variety of influences, the network changes resulting from online dating fits the observations perfectly.15 percent of Americans admit to having used online dating, and 5 percent of those who are married or committed long-term relationships stating they met their spouse online.Not only has digital technology made dating easier for romantic hopefuls, the data collected by such sites has been a boon for researchers curious about human mating habits.

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Most people are tightly connected with about a hundred nodes, including close friends and family, and loosely connected with others.Digital match-making services have done more than just change how we find our perfect squeeze; they’re changing the fundamental nature of our social networks.According to a pair of researchers investigating online dating, the way we’re looking for love (and lust) is connecting communities in completely novel ways, breaking down boundaries and possibly even making for stronger long-term relationships.The study is currently available online on the pre-publish website arxiv.com, so it has not completed its full peer-review process just yet.It can often seem as if the online world reinforces our echo chambers and leads us to become more insular, especially when it comes to social media.

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